Gulfshore Business Daily: September 27

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Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) ranked third in the medium airport category of J.D. Power’s 2018 North America Airport Satisfaction Study. The study, in its 13th year, measures overall traveler satisfaction with mega, large and medium North American airports in the areas of terminal facilities, airport accessibility, security check, baggage claim, check-in/baggage check and food, beverage and retail. RSW had a score of 810, which was higher than the average scores in the mega, large and medium categories and ranked best in Florida for traveler satisfaction. For the full report, click here


Lee County Parks & Recreation has announced a partnership with the Lee County School District to implement school-based Special Olympics programs. These programs begin with pre-kindergarten and continue through high school with the purpose to promote social inclusion and acceptance through shared sport training and competition experiences for individuals with and without disabilities. High school Unified Sports is just one of the programs. Unified Sports will provide opportunities for students with and without disabilities to participate in sports activities alongside one another in athletic completion. The special needs individuals, referred to as athletes, and the non-disabled individuals, referred to as partners, will participate together on a team that competes against other high school teams. Training begins next month with games in November. Every Lee County high school will have the opportunity for their athletes and partners to form a team and compete against other high schools from Lee County, Collier County or at the state level. For more information about the Special Olympics programs, contact Don Payne at (239) 533-7518.


Champions For Learning (The Education Foundation of Collier County Inc.) has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. This is the sixth time that Champions For Learning has earned this top distinction. The four-star rating is the highest possible rating and indicates that Champions For Learning adheres to sector best practices and executes its mission in a financially efficient way. Champions For Learning is among only 23 percent of the charities evaluated who have received at least three consecutive four-star evaluations.


In conjunction with a Technology Skills Gap Survey being conducted by the Southwest Florida Regional Technical Partnership (SWFRTP), CareerSource Southwest Florida (CSSWF) was awarded a grant to provide funding for technology skills upgrading and certification and exam fees. Survey results indicate a high need for Cisco, Microsoft, VMWare, Amazon Web Services, PMP and Apple certifications. Grant funds are available for training in more than 100 online technology classes. The SWFRTP is holding an information workshop from 6-8 p.m. on Oct. 23 at Endeavor Workspaces in Fort Myers, where CSSWF will educate area employers and workers on how they can qualify and register for cost-assisted training and certifications. For more information, visit


Lee Health’s Christin Collins will join this year’s Leadership Florida program. Leadership Florida is a statewide organization dedicated to connecting leaders from across the state to challenge, prepare and inspire them to build a better Florida. The program, now in its 37th year, seeks to activate, educate and engage leaders through top-level programming and development. Collins is Lee Health’s system director of health and wellness, and she is responsible for developing and leading several of the health system’s community lifestyle initiatives. She was named The News-Press’ Person of the Year in 2017 and serves in leadership roles for several community organizations including PACE Center for Girls and The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce. New class members participate in Leadership Florida’s distinguished master sessions, which provide a comprehensive look at critical Florida issues and the opportunity to refine their leadership skills. Participants also take part in an eight-month learning experience in various locations across Florida.


B-Squared Advertising of Naples has hired Quintino “Tino” De Sousa as an art director. De Sousa attended Edison State College (now Florida SouthWestern State College), Florida Gulf Coast University and the University of Florida (UF) College of Journalism & Communications, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in advertising and innovation and graduated magna cum laude. De Sousa was also accepted to the Golden Key International Honour Society and is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Prior to joining B-Squared Advertising, De Sousa, who has 14 years of experience in the industry, was a freelance graphic designer, the creative director for Branovations, and creative director for Pinnacle Promo Print, all based in Naples.


SCORE Naples will host “QuickBooks – A Tool for Tracking Critical Financial Information” from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Nov. 3 at Naples Accelerator. Cheryl Willett, president of Willett Business Management Inc., will present the discussion. Attendees will learn why financials are important, which components of a balance sheet and income statement are most important, why to use QuickBooks, and what version of QuickBooks is right for their business. The event is $30 when registering in advance. For registration, go to or call (239) 430 0081. 


FineMark named title sponsor of USTA women’s pro tournament

Bonita Bay Club has announced FineMark National Bank & Trust as title sponsor of its $100,000 United States Tennis Association (USTA) Women’s Professional Circuit tennis tournament, held May 6-12, 2019. The FineMark Women’s USTA Pro Circuit Championship, benefiting New Horizons of Southwest Florida, is one of three major tennis events Bonita Bay Club is hosting this upcoming season, along with the FineMark Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) Collegiate Open, held Oct. 26-28, and the 38th Annual Naples-Ft. Myers Challenge held Nov. 10. Bonita Bay Club is estimating daily attendance at the USTA Pro Circuit event near 1,000 spectators each day. Bonita Bay Club’s tournament committee continues to coordinate event sponsorships, a gala and silent auction, and a golf tournament to support the event. For information about sponsorship opportunities, call (239) 949-5039.

Food Bank sends staff to help struggling communities in the wake of Hurricane Florence

The Harry Chapin Food Bank is helping its sister food banks that are continuing to struggle to provide food and disaster relief to victims of unprecedented flooding, due to Hurricane Florence, in North and South Carolina. Dennis Hall, warehouse manager at the food bank’s 55,000-square-foot Fort Myers distribution center, and Mike Davis, retail logistics manager, leave today to assist in the New Bern and Raleigh areas of North Carolina. The Harry Chapin Food Bank is a member of the Feeding America network of 200 food banks, which moved water, more than 2 million pounds of food, and manpower to the areas in immediate need after Florence hit. Hall will be working in conjunction with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina in Raleigh. He has taken Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) classes in disaster relief and recently completed additional training in Tampa. Hall will be a member of a new disaster relief team, currently being formed in the wake of Hurricane Irma, by Feeding Florida, the state affiliation under Feeding America.

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